Joy to the World!: Christmas Stories from Around the Globe
Saviour Pirotta (author) and Sheila Moxley (illustrator)
Frances Lincoln Children's Books ISBN: 978-1847802316
Five stories from around the world which share Christmas traditions and legends.
The Brave Little Camel (Syria)
Syrian children receive gifts at Epiphany from a very original source- the Smallest Camel of the Wise Men. Legend tells that the Wise Men travelled in a caravan with many camels on their way to Bethlehem. The smallest camel was exhausted by the long journey but refused to give up. Now, he brings presents to good children at Christmas time.
Baby in the Bread (Malta)
This story tells how a baker woman helped Mary and Joseph by hiding baby Jesus in the dough she was kneading when Herod's soldiers were searching for him. After they left, the dough rose and there was enough bread to feed everyone.
Flowers for Jesus (Mexico)
When little Anna and her Papa follow the shepherds to see Jesus, she is upset because she has nothing to give the baby. So she picks the prettiest weeds she can find. An angel sees her and touches the flowers turning them bright scarlet. Mary called them 'Christmas' flowers in celebration of Jesus's birth.
The Gourd of Plenty (Ghana)
When there is drought, Kumbi can't find any water for her grandmother. Having tried everywhere, she is too tired to go on and sits down to rest. The voice of the Christ child reminds her that she hasn't put her faith in Him and asked for water. She does and the gourd remains full of water as the Christ child answers her prayer.
Too busy cleaning to go with the Wise Men to see the baby, Jesus, Babushka stays home to tidy her house. Later, she regrets her decision and sets off to find Jesus. Everywhere she went, she left presents for children in the hope of finding Jesus. (Recently, I have read that this is not really a Russian story, but possibly created by an American lady in the early 1900's)
A lovely collection- perfect for the daily class story at this time of year!